Approximate The Distance To Lightning Strike: Know How To Prepare for Storms
To approximate the miles a strike is from you, count the seconds between the flash and thunder, divide by 5!
Know How To Prepare for Storms
Lightning causes around 43 deaths in the U.S. annually (based on statistics from 1989-2018). Thankfully, this number is only 10% of the average lightning strikes, the other 90% are left alive, but with various degrees of disability.
Nationally, lightning ranks second only to flash floods in weather-related deaths. Lightning is the most frequent important weather threat to personal safety during the thunderstorm season. Since the threat of lightning is so common, it is typical that many have a lackadaisical approach to protecting themselves. The main reason is that people stay outside too long as thunderstorms approach or form nearby.
For example, during the early part of the thunderstorm season, "dry" thunderstorms are quite common. With these types of thunderstorms, little or no precipitation reaches the ground and, as a result, people are less likely to seek shelter. See lightning facts below for statistics on lightning events.
Did you know?
- The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 ° F, that is hotter than the surface of the sun!
- The average flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months.
- Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms.
While most lightning casualties occur at the beginning of an approaching storm, a significant number of lightning deaths occur after the thunderstorm has passed. If thunder is heard, then the storm is close enough for a lightning strike. DO NOT wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended.
A Cool Lightning Hack
You can approximate the distance of lightning!
Did you know you can approximate the distance a storm is from you but counting the time between the flash of lightning and the thunder sound that coincides with the lightning flash? That means you can, at your own home, with minimal supplies, figure out how far a lightning strike is from you!
What You’ll Need:
- You Ears
- Your Eyes
- A watch with a second counter or a phone
From the time you see lightning, it will take the sound of thunder 5 seconds to travel 1 mile. To approximate the miles a strike is from you, count the seconds between the flash and thunder, divide by 5!
For example, if you see a flash of lightning, start a stop watch and hear a large crash of thunder 5 seconds after the flash, your lightning is only 1 mile away! Anything less than 5 seconds is definitely close, so seek cover!
It's not raining, is there still danger from being struck by lightning?
YES! Lightning often strikes outside of the heavy rain area and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
Will the rubber soles of my shoes or tires on my car protect me from being struck?
NO! However, the steel frame of a hard-topped car provides a sort of Faraday Cage or Faraday shield. This increases protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside the car than outside. When skies darken, or thunderstorms are forecast, look and listen for increasing wind, flashes of lightning, sound of thunder, and static on your AM radio. While no place is safe from lightning, some places are much safer than others.
Where you can go…
- Get inside a house or large shelter
- Remain clear of tall, isolated trees and telephone poles
- If possible, move to a sturdy building or hard top automobile
- If you are caught outside, away from shelter, you need to get to a place of safety as quickly as possible. If safe shelter is not possible, lie down on low lying ground or in a ditch.
- If boating or swimming, get out of boats and away from the water, get to land and find shelter immediately
What you can do...
- Watch for signs of an approaching thunderstorm
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation
- REMEMBER, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning
If your home or property has been damaged by severe winds, water, or storms—call SERVPRO of Lake Arlington for a free damage restoration estimate.
BBQ Fire Safety
The arrival of nice weather calls for grilling out with friends and family. Unfortunately, a grill fire is a safety hazard in the right circumstances.
Follow These Tips to Avoid a Barbecue Fire
The arrival of nice weather calls for grilling out with friends and family. Unfortunately, a grill fire is a real safety hazard, and in the right circumstances, a fun get-together can turn into a disaster in a hurry. You can avoid a barbecue fire by following these tips:
- Keep the Grill in a Safe Location
Keep the grill outside on a level surface at least 10 feet from buildings and other flammable objects. Never grill under an overhang or in an enclosed area. Be sure to monitor it closely until it cools.
- Keep Children and Pets at a Distance
Children and pets should stay at least three feet away from the grill. Ensure that pets on tie-downs cannot reach the grill; they can wrap their line around the grill and pull it over. It will keep them at a safe distance if a grill fire occurs.
- Be Mindful of Loose Clothing
Make sure that you wear appropriate attire when you grill. You can tie back everything with an apron. Use long tongs and spatulas for added safety and wear heat-resistant grill gloves.
- Use a Chimney Starter
A chimney starter is a much safer option than lighter fluid. It will also light the coals more evenly.
- Practice the Two-Zone Method
This simple, versatile method creates a much safer grilling experience. Put the hot charcoal on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. If a flare-up occurs, move the food to the other side until the flame subsides, then move it back to continue cooking. The two-zone method can improve your food quality because it creates a searing side and another side for flame-free slow cooking.
Keep a fire extinguisher near. Do NOT use water; it can make a grease fire flare up. Instead, close the grill lid until the outbreak subsides. If your house sustains fire damage or smoke damage from a grill fire, SERVPRO of Lake Arlington can return it to its original state.
Prepare for Hurricane Season
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is a proud and active member of this community and is ready to respond to your Arlington home emergency 24/7.
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
Atlantic hurricane season runs roughly from June 1 thru November 30 each year, with September holding the spot for the peak hurricane month. While, technically, hurricanes can wreak havoc any time of the year, this is the time to be on your guard the most. With that said, there are several ways to prepare for these storms during the off-season so you are not caught unawares.
Stock Up on Essentials
You'll want to prepare for the loss of electricity and the ability to cook by stocking up on water, bread, non-perishables, and items you can eat without heating. Also, make sure you have:
- Extra batteries for flashlights or headlamps,
- Portable chargers and cables for cell phones,
- Candles with matches.
Check Your Insurance
If you live in a hurricane-prone region, make sure your insurance covers flooding and other expenses you may incur because of a Texas hurricane.
Make a Video of Your Home
If your home is damaged from hurricane winds and water, a home inventory video will help prove the pre-storm state of your home and make insurance claims processing easier. It would also be beneficial to make electronic versions of important documents related to your home and your personal information in case the originals are destroyed in the storm. Include digital files of documents such as your:
- Birth certificate
- Driver's license
- Home's deed
- Social security card
Protect Your Property
Install hurricane shutters or plywood of at least 3/4 inches in thickness. You may need to install hurricane clips to secure the roof of your home to the walls. This is important in areas that may receive a direct hit, and install foot and head bolts on all doors.
Make an Evacuation Plan
When it is time to evacuate, go. Make a plan for where you and your family will stay at least 50 miles from your Texas home. If you can, pre-pack a bag before the threat of an Atlantic hurricane is severe. Load it with clothes, blankets, food, water, electronics, and important papers or photos.
Use These Tips
Don't Take Risks. Ultimately, people are more important than things. People hurt in hurricane weather evacuate late or stay in their homes altogether. Be wise and get out early. Prepare in order to mitigate panic and this kind of risky behavior.
We Help with Hurricane Recovery
We live and work in this community; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated cleaning, damage restoration, and construction business, SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is a proud and active member of this community and is ready to respond to your Orlando home emergency 24/7/365. Call us today at (817) 460-7766.
SERVPRO of Lake Arlingotn Introduces Employee Volunteer Time Off
In support of our core values and a healthy work-life balance, SERVPRO of Lake Arlington rolled out a Volunteer Time Off.
Introducing Volunteer Time Off
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is uniquely positioned to help people during and after disasters with our immediate response to fire, water, storm, and smoke damage. Our company culture of helping others is not just confined to the workplace, but extended into our daily lives.
Healthy Work-Life Balance
In support of our core values and a healthy work-life balance, SERVPRO of Lake Arlington rolled out a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policy that allows all full-time employees to take up to 16 hours of paid leave to complete volunteer work of their choosing each year.
Employees are already enthusiastically using this time in a way that supports their personal values. This policy gives employees a greater capacity to donate time and energy to causes near to their hearts and have a direct impact on their communities.
The goal is to aid local organizations in a tangible way while fostering stronger, more meaningful community connections in all six SERVPRO Team Nicholson locations. This includes Clarksville and Memphis in Tennessee; St. Pete, Orlando, and Tampa in Florida; and Fort Worth in Texas.
With about 160 full-time employees in six locations across three states, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida, if each eligible worker uses their 16 hours of VTO each year, SERVPRO Team Nicholson will contribute around 2,500 work hours to local charities.
How to Reduce Pet Stress During a Storm: Evacuation Plan
Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress.
Plan For Your Pets
Inclement weather or fires can happen with or without notice. Creating an emergency plan can help prevent damage to your home and belongings and protect you and your loved ones - including pets! When putting a plan together, it’s important to plan for their needs as well.
Make an Evacuation Plan
Remember, if you must evacuate due to an emergency, the area is likely not suitable for your pets either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be taken, if not kept with you, and how best to transport them. Make a list ahead of time of pet friendly hotels or friends’ houses along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Know that some hotels and shelters do not accept animals.
You also might want to build an emergency travel kit for your animals. This will save time and worry when you must evacuate.
Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:
- A completed Emergency Pet Passport containing important information like your pets’ veterinarian contact info, medical needs, license/chip info, photos, etc.
- Leash, harness, and carrier with blanket to transport animals
- A few portions of a suitable non-perishable food, water bowl, bottled water, and can opener
- Cat litter and pan or bags for excrement
Don’t Have to Evacuate?
If evacuation is not necessary, there are still some things you can do to reduce your pet’s stress in an uncomfortable situation like a thunderstorm.
Pet Stress Symptoms
Pets may exhibit signs of stress and anxiety that can be alleviated by simple measures. Some of these symptoms include whimpering, hiding, pacing, or shivering. These symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors including pets’ greater sensitivity to sounds and air pressure.
As stress increases, symptoms may become more severe. Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress:
- Remain calm as an owner
- Create a comforting space for them in a smaller room like a closet or under a blanket
- Close blinds and curtains
- Keep them in their normal routine, if possible
Read more storm and pet related articles here.
How to Remove Odors from Your Arlington Home
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington Removes Odors from Your Home
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington Removes Odors from Your Home
Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition, and mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn't permanently remove offensive odors left by smoke, mold, and other sources. However, with technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Lake Arlington provides specialized services that can eliminate those foul smells.
Our professionals don't cover up lingering odors with a fragrance. We seek out the odor's source.
Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO's proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will be cleaned and deodorized professionally. These items can include:
- draperies and upholstery
- flooring, walls, ceilings
- HVAC air ducts & more
Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products, we use various techniques and equipment that are capable of penetrating surfaces to thoroughly neutralize unpleasant odors.
Tools We Use:
- Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke, and more without chemicals. While the room is being treated, a person should not occupy the space. However, the generator works quickly.
- Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main advantage is that the treated room can be occupied during the deodorization process, though it does work more slowly. It's used to treat fire, smoke, biohazard jobs, water damage, crime scene situations, and animal odors.
- Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through a HEPA filtration mechanism to remove airborne particles, helping clean the air and remove odors.
SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is here for you 24/7, 7 days a week at (817) 460-7766.
Smoke and Soot Dictate Cleanup Practices After Fire Damage
It is wise to contact a professional in the fire damage restoration industry, like SERVPRO of Lake Arlington at (817) 460-7766.
Professionals Describe the Different Types of Smoke
Suppose you ever suffer from a structural blaze inside your Lake Arlington home. In that case, it is always smart to consult a professional when going about cleanup and restoration.
A professional will know to use different chemicals and techniques when removing residues left behind, based on the smoke type. In most situations, smoke and the soils it leaves behind can be classified into one of the following four categories of smoke and soot damage. Knowing what type of smoke was present helps the technician pick the best method to remove soot residues on the various surfaces of your building materials and contents.
Category No. 1 - Dry Smoke
Most fires go through stages of creating both wet and dry smoke. However, usually fires will have more of one type than the other. Dry smoke is created by fast-burning, oxygen-rich burns. Dry smoke is also usually created when organic materials like wood, paper, or natural fabrics burn.
Category No. 2 - Wet Smoke
Whether a fire produces a majority of wet or dry smoke depends on the amount of oxygen present, the combustion rate, and the type of substance that is burning. When the fire is starved of oxygen and burns at a lower temperature, it produces wet smoke. Wet smoke is also created when synthetic materials such as rubber or plastic burn. Wet smoke usually adheres strongly to surfaces and is difficult to remove.
Category No. 3 - Protein Residues
Protein residues can be found any time products such as meat, poultry, or fish burn. These residues leave behind a yellow or amber discoloration, but they can sometimes be clear and hard to see on a surface. Protein residues leave behind strong odors making deodorization the biggest issue when dealing with them.
Category No. 4 - Fuel Oil Soot
Furnace puff-backs can create fuel oil residues that consist of dust particles from the ventilation system and fuel oils that did not burn all the way. This type of soot usually has a gray or black color and can consist of large or small particles. Often, the electrically charged ions form formations in corners that resemble spiderwebs and can smear readily if not vacuumed and sponged off correctly.
If a fire ever ignites inside your home, it is wise to contact a professional in the fire damage restoration industry, like SERVPRO of Lake Arlington at (817) 460-7766.
What Is Cat 3 Water Loss? What About Cat 1 and Cat 2?
For a free estimate, call us today at (817) 460-7766.
If you experienced a natural flood or sewage break at your home, you may have been told your property sustained Cat 3 (Category 3) water damage. So what is Cat 3 water damage? And what are the other 2?
Water Damage Categories
They are classified as follows:
- Category 1 damage, also known as “white water” (clean water)
- Category 2 damage, also known as “gray water” (clean water that sat for a while)
- Category 3 damage, which is known as “black water” (usually from flood water)
Category 3 water is not only contaminated, but it can also cause damage to your home. Professionally trained technicians can, fortunately, help you clean and decontaminate the building and items after a Cat 3 water incident.
When facing water damage caused by a contaminated liquid, your safest plan usually involves contacting a local restoration company. Professionals are trained to arrive quickly, assess damage accurately, and work safely and efficiently to clean, restore and construct your property.
After the assessment, the following cleaning steps typically occur:
- Removal of water
- Humidity reduction and drying of wet surfaces
- Sanitation and cleaning of damaged areas
- Remediation of damaged property through deep cleaning and reconstruction
The professional you choose may also offer digitization services for wet financial documents or photographs that need to be preserved. Additionally, trained technicians on the scene may have suggestions for a preservation method or a long-term storage situation for items that are priceless and irreplaceable, yet not entirely salvageable.
Help us help you persevere in the face of such a nightmare. SERVPRO of Lake Arlington is a local professional in the cleaning, restoration, and construction industry. Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. For a free estimate, call us today at (817) 460-7766.
7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage While Away
Homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Call SERVPRO of Lake Arlington today for a free water damage estimate: (817) 460-7766.
7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage While Away
According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky or busted pipes and appliances cause millions of dollars in damage during freezing weather and storms. Leaky pipes don't take a vacation when you do and can burst, generating hundreds of dollars of repairs. Prevent water damage while your on vacation by using this checklist:
Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation
Check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should check the seals by your windows to make sure there are no cracks. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see the condition of your roof shingles. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.
Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances
You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers/dryers, and refrigerators.
Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters
Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won't have any blockages that can cause overflows which can lead to foundation problems and water damages while you're away.
Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump
Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. Run a few tests, listen to the sounds it makes, and ensure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you're away.
Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you plan on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.
Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home
Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.
Step 7. Ease Your Mind By Turning Off the Water
Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. Drain the pipes so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. Open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.
Who Cleans Water-Damaged Senior Living Facilities?
Call our certified technicians at SERVPRO of Lake Arlington: (817) 460-7766. We clean senior living facilities.
Dicey weather has caused many pipes to freeze, thaw, and burst, so SERVPRO of Lake Arlington gets numerous calls to perform common services this time of year.
If you own or manage a senior living facility or some other caretaking property, a leak and its results are plenty to deal with without other complicating factors that come with the caretaking sphere of business.
The building itself is likely one of the last items you may consider in the event of a catastrophic emergency at a senior living facility. While a flood could put an average business out of the office for weeks, a caretaking facility has more on its plate. Timely water mitigation is a necessity.
SERVPRO is well-known for professionalism and service. It is in our name! We work with our clients to ensure their safety and satisfaction with our work.
Our Past Experience with Senior Living Facilities
Our SERVPRO worked on a senior living facility where a pipe burst causing flooding in four different resident's rooms. We arrived within the hour and got to work moving residents and their uncontaminated items to dry rooms, extracting water, setting up equipment, cleaning resident's affected items, packing it safely for the move, and ensuring all steps to dry and restore the structure were done in a timely manner!
We know each moment counts, and we are proud to say we are Faster to any size disaster™ for that very reason.
About SERVPRO of Lake Arlington
We are a completely turn-key company. We even do rebuilds and renovations. Our certified technicians stay in contact with our customers every step of the way to make sure our customers have the best experience and clearest answers!
Call our certified technicians at SERVPRO of Lake Arlington: (817) 460-7766.